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This Week in MLS – May 15, 2012

Galaxy visit the White House today before this weekend’s SuperClasico on ESPN2
The LA Galaxy are in Washington D.C. today for a special visit with President Barack Obama.  After a tour of the White House, the President will meet with the team to honor their 2011 MLS Cup Championship season. Photographs from the event will be available for download this afternoon by CLICKING HERE.
After the visit, the Galaxy will turn their focus to this weekend’s match against Chivas USA as the two teams faceoff in the SuperClasico Saturday on ESPN2 (10:30 p.m. ET).
The Galaxy have a six-game winning streak alive against their Home Depot Center neighbors, and haven’t lost to Chivas USA since Aug. 23, 2007, a span of 11 games.
MLS Week 11 - National Broadcasts
Saturday, May 19: Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 5 p.m. (TSN/RDS2)
Saturday, May 19:D.C. United vs. Toronto FC, 7:30 p.m. (TSN2)
Saturday, May 19:Chivas USA vs. L.A. Galaxy, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPN Deportes/TSN2)
Sunday, May 20:Portland Timbers vs. Columbus Crew, 7 p.m. (Galavision)
AT&T MLS Goal of the Week – to vote,CLICK HERE
  • Fredy Montero (SEA)
  • David Beckham (LA)
  • Brad Davis (HOU)
  • Lee Nguyen (NE)
  • Sebastián Miranda (CLB)
New York Red Bulls: 91st Minute With Ryan Meara
Portland Timbers: Off Pitch With Hermes
Sporting Kansas City: Which Teammate Has the Best Hair?
MLS Week 11 Previews
(Home team listed first; all times Eastern)
Tuesday, May 15
Houston Dynamo vs. Portland Timbers, 8:30 p.m.
  • Fitting start at BBVA:Brad Davis, Houston’s goal-scorer in the team’s inaugural game and win at BBVA Compass Stadium, was one of four Dynamo originals – along with Brian Ching, Bobby Boswell and Geoff Cameron – who have been with the club since its move from San Jose for the start of the 2006 season.
  • Battle of Glasgow: Dynamo manager Dominic Kinnear and Timbers boss John Spencer share many commonalities; both were both born in Glasgow and were on the rosters of Scottish clubs before departing for leagues abroad. Although never teammates, both made stops in MLS at Colorado before becoming assistants in the league, and later taking the helm at their current sides.
  • Woe is Portland on the road: In Portland’s short existence in MLS, Eastern Conference venues have not been kind to the club, who own a 1-6-3 record on their cross-country trips. The lone victory came on July 16, 2011, a 1-0 win against the Chicago Fire.
  • Shy shooting: Houston has had only one player attempt more than four shots on goal this season. Forward Will Bruin has accounted for 15 of the club’s 39 on-target shots, with only Brian Ching having more than three in the category.
Wednesday, May 16
D.C. United vs. Colorado Rapids, 7:30 p.m.
  • Dangerous Dwayne:Following three consecutive games during which he faced a former club, United playmaker Dwayne De Rosario comes into Wednesday’s game with seven regular season goals all-time against the Rapids, good for fourth place (tied with Edson Buddle) among active players.
  • The ‘F’ stands for ‘Fortress’: RFK Stadium has been unwelcoming to the Colorado Rapids, who have gone 3-10-5 in Washington D.C., since the league’s birth in 1996. This season, D.C.United boast a +6 goal differential at home, and have gained 11 points from six matches there thus far.
  • Spreading the scoring:D.C. United are currently the only club in MLS to have more than four different players score multiple goals for the season. Maicon Santos, Chris Pontius, Nick DeLeon, Dwayne De Rosario, and Hamdi Salihi have all more than one goal to their names this year.
Saturday, May 19
Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 5 p.m. (TSN/RDS2)
  • Seven is Seattle’s magic number:This season, seven Seattle Sounders FC defenders have combined for five shutouts and only four goals allowed. Comparably, the Whitecaps have conceded 11 goals in their last six MLS regular season matches.
  • Super sophs: At 5-3-2 with 17 points, the Whitecaps are off to the hottest 10-game start in an expansion team’s sophomore season since the 1999 Chicago Fire went 6-4-0 with 18 points to begin the year. 
  • Estrada exceeding expectations:Seattle player David Estrada has been a pleasant surprise since his college days at UCLA – a walk-on for the Bruins, he was named Soccer America’s National Freshman of the Year and was a four-time All-Pac 10 selection. In his third year with Sounders FC, Estrada has scored four goals on the season, which currently puts him atop the Seattle leaderboard, ahead of forward Fredy Montero, who set the franchise record for points just last year.
  • Cascadia Cup commences: This is the first matchup of the season that counts toward the Cascadia Cup, a trophy awarded annually by supporters to the Pacific Northwest club with the best regular season record. The Sounders are the current title holders, going 2-0-2 against their Cascadia competition in 2011.
Montreal Impact vs. New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m.
  • Great as of late:Despite posting three clean sheets through the last four games, Red Bulls GK Ryan Meara is tied for second place for most goals allowed this season with 16. His comrade with him at No. 2? None other than Impact keeper Donovan Ricketts.
  • No Henry? No problem:In the last three full games without DP Thierry Henry, the New York Red Bulls have tallied five goals and have a 3-0-0 record to show for.
  • Persistently penalized: The Impact are the current league leaders in penalty kicks taken and penalty kicks allowed with three apiece. Montreal also leads the league in offside infractions and
    ranks second in fouls committed.
D.C. United vs. Toronto FC, 7:30 p.m. (TSN2)
  • Hot shots: With 20 goals through 12 league matches, D.C. United is off to their most productive start since 2007, when the Black-and-Red scored 22 in the same span. That year, United would finish with 56 regular-season goals and lay claim to the Supporters’ Shield. Currently, D.C. is on pace to score 57 goals for the year.
  • Advantage, DeLeon:Top 10 MLS SuperDraft picks Nick DeLeon (D.C. United) and Luis Silva (Toronto FC) will presumably meet for the first time on the pitch—United held DeLeon out in the teams’ May 5 matchup—in the clubs’ second head-to-head competition in just as many weeks. Ten weeks into the season, DeLeon has the rookie upper-hand, with three goals and three assists in his pocket, while Silva has yet to record a single point.
  • Gaucho glory days:Former UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) teammates Chris Pontius (D.C. United) and Eric Avila (Toronto FC) won the 2006 NCAA Men’s National Championship together—the school’s first in soccer—but neither player has lifted the MLS Cup in the combined seven full seasons they have both been in the league. Currently holding third place in the Eastern Conference, D.C. United look prime for a deep playoff run, while the 0-8-0 Reds are still searching for their first MLS regular season “W.” Toronto’s Luis Silva is also a UCSB alumnus, but was not a part of the 2006 squad.
New England Revolution vs. Houston Dynamo, 7:30 p.m.
  • Revs’ rewards:Houston forward Brian Ching is tied with former Dynamo teammate, Dwayne De Rosario, for most goals scored by an active player during the regular season against the Revs, with eight strikes apiece.
  • First half team:Ten of New England’s 12 goals this season have come in the first half of play. Conversely, Houston has scored only two goals in the first 45 minutes of matches. 
  • Shalrie nearly there: With one more assist, Revs captain Shalrie Joseph will move into second place of New England’s all-time assist leaders, ahead of Joe-Max Moore. Joseph has three assists already on the year, bringing his career total to 35. 
  • Local ties: New England Manager Jay Heaps is the first former Revolution player and first New England native to lead the club. Dynamo Head Coach Dominic Kinnear grew up in Fremont, Calif., a city 25 minutes north of San Jose, from where the team—then the San Jose Earthquakes—relocated to Houston.
FC Dallas vs. Philadelphia Union, 8:30 p.m.
  • A round of shots, please: Through their first eight matches, the Philadelphia Union attempted a league-low 18shots on goal; on Sunday’s game alone against the New York Red Bulls, the Union fired six on-target and posted their first multi-goal game, albeit a 2-3 loss.
  • Going pro:FC Dallas Head Coach Schellas Hyndman is one of four current MLS managers with just one year or less of professional soccer experience, while Union counterpart Peter Nowak has 23 years under his belt.
  • Young folks:While Philadelphia midfielder Freddy Adu was the youngest player in U.S. Men’s National Team history to earn a senior team cap, Dallas midfielder Brek Shea is the youngest member of the team to have appeared in every game thus far of the Jurgen Klinsmann era.
Colorado Rapids vs. Sporting Kansas City, 9 p.m.
  • Rampant Rapids:Eight different Rapids players have scored the team’s 15 goals so far in 2012, with nine of those strikes coming from players new to the club this season.
  • Vermes the messenger: Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes spent three seasons of his playing days with Colorado from 2000-2002. While there, Vermes tallied eight goals in 89 appearances as a defender and helped the Rapids to two MLS playoff appearances.
  • We meet again: This is the clubs’ first meeting since Sporting Kansas City (SKC) defeated Colorado in both legs of the Eastern Conference Semifinals last season by 2-0 scorelines (4-0 aggregate). SKC collectively outshot the Rapids 12-5, and Teal Bunbury netted a double in the first leg.
Chivas USA vs. LA Galaxy, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPN Deportes/TSN2)
  • In a Clasico by themselves: This marks the first meeting of the year between the two clubs in the SuperClasico, and the first year since 2009 that the clubs will meet three times in a season. Los Angeles currently dominates the derby, winning six of the last seven meetings and owning a 16-6-3 record in all competitions.
  • Breakout for Barrett?L.A. forward Chad Barrett has yet to find his scoring boots this season; however, if there were ever a time to do so it would be against Chivas USA. Barrett has scored a goal three of the last four times he has faced the Goats, including the game-winning strike in both SuperClasico matches last season.
  • Fall from grace:Four days after President Obama congratulates them on their 2011 MLS Cup victory at the White House, the Galaxy will face intra-city rival, Chivas USA. L.A. leads the all-time regular season record (14-3-5), but has been slumping in 2012 – the club has already lost five games, the same number that they dropped in the entire 2011 MLS season.
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Columbus Crew, 10:30 p.m.
  • Colum-bust: The Crew are tied for their worst start in franchise history through the season’s first nine games at 2-4-2 and eight points. The 2007 club began the year 1-3-5, and went on to finish 9-11-10, which put them sixth place in the then-seven-team Eastern Conference.
  • Steven’s second wind:In three full seasons with his first club, Columbus Crew, Steven Lenhart notched 14 goals and four assists. Through 2011 and the first 11 games of 2012 for San Jose, Lenhart already has nine goals and three assists, with four of his strikes coming from the last four games. He was also named MLS’s “Player of the Week” for Week 8 of this year.
  • Parallel pro paths: Managers Frank Yallop (San Jose Earthquakes) and Robert Warzycha (Columbus Crew) both played in MLS in its inaugural year after long careers in Europe. Warzycha played for the Crew and retired as the club’s all-time assists leader (61), while Yallop was a part of the league’s first Supporters’ Shield winners, the Tampa Bay Mutiny.
Sunday, May 20
Portland Timbers vs. Chicago Fire, 7 p.m. (Galavision)
  • Dynamic Jack:After eight years in Kansas City and one team “Defensive Player of the Year” award in 2008, Portland midfielder Jack Jewsbury, who scored seven goals and assisted eight times in 2011, returned to the back line in the Timbers’ game against the Columbus Crew on May 5, helping his club to a 0-0 draw.
  • Fire burned out?The Timbers will be the Fire’s third opponent in 11 days, after having two byes in the first five weeks of the season.
  • Rivals Re-united: Fire midfielder Rafael Robayo, who before joining MLS, spent 2005-2011 with Colombian-side, Millonarios, will be squaring off against two former members of rival clubs. Timbers midfielder Diego Chara and forward Jose Adolfo Valencia played against Robayo in the Colombian Categoria Primera A for América de Cali and Santa Fe, respectively. Millonarios plays Santa Fe in El Clásico Capitalino and América de Cali in El Clásico con más estrellas.
“It was the sine qua non. For the sport and the team to really take hold and capture the imagination of the entire community, it had to be downtown. It was a cultural statement that soccer has arrived.”
-- Former Houston Dynamo President Oliver Luck, to the Houston Chronicle, about turning down suburban stadium proposals
“We call ourselves a major league. We need to be major-league,” Canetti said. “Having your own stadium is major league, and anyone who’s walked into this building has been blown away. This is here for the Dynamo and this place makes a very strong statement about the credibility of the brand and the relevance of the team.”
-- Houston Dynamo President Chris Canetti, to the Associated Press, about the added gravitas that soccer-specific stadia give the league
"I feel like they deserve it as much as we do to be a part of that moment. They've been waiting a long time. They've been supporting us since our first day here. This is a special day, not just for us players, but for our organization, for our fans and for the city of Houston. I wanted to go over and let them be a part of that moment with the team. I think they deserved it as well.”
-- Houston Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis, after scoring the first goal in the history of BBVA Compass Stadium in a 1-0 win against D.C. United
"I'm a little bit of a smaller guy, but I love the scrap. I love the fight."
-- New York Red Bulls midfielder Dax McCarty, to The Wall Street Journal, about playing tough defense in recent club wins
“I remember going to games at Spartan [Stadium], and wishing to be out there one day. I finally am. So it’s a dream come true.”
-- San Jose Earthquakes striker and current MLS Budweiser Golden Boot leader Chris Wondolowski, to the San Francisco Examiner, about his boyhood dream to play soccer professionally
"[Fredy] Montero comes on the field, we know what he's all about... He's a shark. He's a finisher."
-- FC Dallas Head Coach Schellas Hyndman, to The Seattle Times, about Seattle Sounders FC forward Fredy Montero’s superb play in the team’s 2-0 win against Dallas
"It felt awesome. Everyone’s buzzing in the change room. It’s a different mood and a turnaround’s coming."
-- Toronto FC midfielder Reggie Lambe, to the Toronto Star, after the Reds snapped their 11-game winless streak in all competitions to beat the Montreal Impact 2-0 in an Amway Canadian Championship semifinal
“Vanity Fairput [Nicolas Sarkozy] in their list of best dressed men in the world, right between Brad Pitt and David Beckham. Imagine being between those two! That sounds awful... awful nice."
-- Craig Ferguson, in an opening monologue on “The Late Late Show,”about L.A. Galaxy midfielder David Beckham’s placement on Vanity Fair’s list of best dressed men
"They call him the Fire Original. He bled for the team, loved putting the jersey on, wore it with honor and displayed that when he stepped on the field and played."
-- Chicago Fire Head Coach Frank Klopas, to RedEye, about the induction of C.J. Brown into the “Ring of Fire”
“I think maybe Lee had a little something to show but it was not against Martin Rennie. It was not against the organization. It was just one of those where you feel a little bit slighted and he showed it tonight.”
-- New England Revolution coach Jay Heaps on Lee Nguyen, who scored two goals against Vancouver, the team that waived him in March
“The majority of people here tonight we were cheering the Impact on, but the fact that there were 60,000 fans is incredible. We thank all the fans, whether they’re Impact fans or just football fans. It was a great day for the game.”
-- David Beckham, to the Canadian Press, after the 1-1 draw at Olympic Stadium with the Montréal Impact
“Credit to our guys, they get up for these games to play quality opponents in quality venues. And Seattle represents both.”
-- Real Salt Lake head coach Jason Kreis, to The Salt Lake Tribune, after his club solidified its hold on the lead in the MLS standings with a 1-0 win at Seattle Sounders FC
Sweet Tweets
@NBCOlympics– May 7
An open letter to Stuart Pearce making the case for David Beckham for @TeamGB:
@DCUDoug – May 8
Here, here! MT @MerrittPaulson: Huge week for MLS. More downtown, soccer-specific stadiums the better. Let's hope DC & NE aren't far behind!
@NickRimando– May 8
Miss watching the History channel and watching @KyleBeckermanchug H20 the night before games. Represent tomorrow bud. #back2getherinSeattle
@keikamara– May 8
Its official when Adidas say so. Get yours, let's Rep KC together.
@HoustonDynamo– May 8
Thanks for having us, @anniseparker! RT @DomsDisciples: @HoustonDynamoMayor Parker gets the third jersey
@RealSaltLake– May 9
Here's CJ receiving his "Ring of Fire" ring and blazer #RSL#cf97
@KyleBeckerman– May 9
A big congrats goes out to CJ Brown. Inducted into the ring of fire. Class act by @ChicagoFire#legend#gladheswithusnow
@keikamara– May 9
Wait @ladygagahas 23+Million followers and I am not one of them. Y didn't y’all tell me this?
@Wynalda11– May 9
I love soccer, just felt like saying that out loud :)
@LAGalaxy– May 10
2011 #MLSCupChampion #lagalaxyto visit @whitehouseon May 15 to be honored by @barackobama
@cdchivasusa– May 10
#ChivasUSAwas joined by @Sueno_MLSfinalists at practice today; winner will be ann @ The Home Depot Center
@J_Klinsmann– May 12
Great day for @HoustonDynamowith the opening of @BBVACompassStdm. Enjoy the new home. #MLS
@DougMacESPN– May 12
60,860 watching Impact v. LA Galaxy here in Montreal, the most ever for a pro soccer game in Canada. #nottooshabby